DENR-7 readies complaint against Pasil ‘pawikan’ vendors
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Environment officials in Central Visayas are set to file this afternoon a complaint for the violation of Republic Act 9147 or the Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources and their Habitats Act against five individuals who were arrested in Barangay Pasil Cebu City for selling green turtle stew locally known as “pawikan larang.”
Gilbert C. Gonzales, executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7), said violation of the law is punishable with four to six months imprisonment and/or a fine ranging from P50,000 to P500,000.
Personnel from DENR-7, the Environmental Crime Division of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) and Cebu City’s Prevention Restoration Order Beautification Enhancement (Probe) conducted an entrapment operation against individuals selling “pawikan” meat and stew in Barangay Pasil on Tuesday morning.
Gonzales said in a press release posted on DENR-7’s Facebook page that the operation was planned after they received reports that “pawikan” stew is being sold by ambulant vendors in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City despite the government’s prohibition.
During their entrapment operation, the joint team confiscated 94.5 kilos of raw “pawikan” meat and 20 kilos of already stewed meat.
Gonzales is encouraging the Cebuanos to already refrain from patronizing pawikan stew to reduce its demand here.
“(The) best measure to prevent and stop the collection and selling of these marine turtles is to encourage everyone not to patronize, buy or eat these pawikan dishes because they play a very essential role in our marine biodiversity,” Gonzales said.
These green sea turtles are considered as endangered species and are facing extremely high risk of extinction if not left unprotected, he said.
Gonzales added that consumers caught patronizing “pawikan” dishes might also face charges for violation of the R.A. 9147.
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